JERRY WAYNE COMBEST
Jerry W. Combest was born January 17, 1943, and graduated from Wylie High School in the class of 1961. Jerry went into the Army in 1966, was trained as an infantry rifleman, and arrived in South Vietnam on March 7, 1968, at Long Binh, the huge American base near Saigon. PFC Combest was assigned to Charlie Co. 1st Mechanized Bn. 5th Inf. Reg. 25th Inf. Div., known as the ‘Bobcats’ with headquarters at Cu Chi, which was referred to by the soldiers stationed there, as ‘Hell’s Half Acre.’ On the morning of August 21, 1968, deep in a dark forest known as the Ben Cui Rubber Plantation, Charlie Company was involved in a fierce battle against an overwhelming enemy force. Waves of enemy soldiers poured out of the jungle and overran his small unit. SP4 Combest died at the age of 25 while trying to save the lives of his wounded comrades. Jerry's name is listed on the WALL at Panel 47W, Row 16.
COMBAT INFANTRYMAN'S BADGE
GOOD CONDUCT MEDAL
NATIONAL DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL
VIETNAM SERVICE MEDAL
VIETNAM CAMPAIGN RIBBON
MILITARY MERIT MEDAL
GALLANTRY CROSS with PALM
|SP4 Jerry Combest in Vietnam||Photo from Wylie newspaper||This photo was taken during the battle of the Ben Cui. Lt. John Snodgrass, CO of Charlie company, is on the left with the bandaged arm.||Memories and Honors of a Hero|
|Jerry's brothers, sisters, and mother||Mrs. Combest and her son||Dedication in Wylie High School Yearbook of 1969 to Jerry and Lanny Hale||Bronze Star
|WHS Yearbook dedication||The flag from his funeral|
For distinguishing himself by outstanding meritorious service in connection with ground operations against hostile forces in the Republic of Vietnam during the period of March 19, 1968 thru 21 August 1968. Through his untiring efforts and professional ability, he consistently obtained outstanding results. He was quick to grasp the implications of new problems with which he was faced as a result of the ever changing situations and to find ways and means to solve those problems. The energetic application of his extensive knowledge has materially contributed to the efforts of the United States mission to the Republic of Vietnam to assist that country in ridding itself of the communist threat to its freedom.His initiative, zeal, sound judgment, and devotion to duty have been in the highest tradition of the United States Army and reflect great credit on him and on the military service.
J. R. Brownlee
I only knew Jerry for a short time, just a
few months, but Jerry changed my life forever. My school, Lake Highlands,
had played against the Wylie Football team, but I never met Jerry until
that summer of '67. However, Jerry became like a brother in only a short
time. As many times as I have gone to Washington, I have never been able
to go to the Wall. I do not know what I would do when I saw his name
there. The pain is too great, even to this day. But your tribute has
helped so much.
I was just remembering Jerry for some reason, so I Goggled on his name. The first hit waswww.bobcat.ws/combesttrib.htm. I am going to send the web site to my two brothers. Jerry always treated kids as real people, and Kurt and Kyle still remember and love Jerry to this day. Johnny Bozeman was called from duty out of Thailand to escort Jerry home. Johnny had fallen and injured his head in pilots training, and was reassigned as a surveillance officer along the border there with Laos and China. I never knew all the details of Jerry's service to his country and his sacrifice to his brothers that day. It makes a difference knowing that. - Garry Freeman
SP4 Combest ~ I never had the honor to have known you, but GOD has chosen me to wait for that. I just wanted to say, what a brave, and remarkable soldier you were on August 21, 1968. Even though I was a little girl then, I knew about Vietnam.
You, Sir, Are Not Forgotten! Thank you for serving your country and GOD Bless you, Jerry Wayne.
Kansas City, MO
If you would like to leave a memorial message in the memory of Jerry Combest, Go Here.
To read about the Battle of the Ben Cui
SSGT Marvin Rex Young, from Odessa, Texas, was among those
heroes who were killed
in the Battle of Ben Cui. Rex was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
To read more about SSGT Young, click on the Permian Basin Viet Veteran Memorial below.
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BACK TO CC VETS MEMORIAL
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